Optimizing Your Physical Fitness and Performance for Weekend Warriors or Professional Athletes
At the Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center of Jackson Hole we understand that whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior your athletic endeavors are important to you. We also know that meeting those goals sometimes takes more than just hard work and determination. Your ability to compete, achieve your goals and stay injury free depends upon your body being biomechanically sound. It does not matter how good your nutrition is, how much you train or how strong or flexible you are. If you have an underlying biomechanical imbalance your performance will suffer and you will be at risk for injury.
Every sport has its own specific biomechanics. The biomechanics of a sport refers to the body/joint movements that are involved in performing a particular activity. In order for an athlete to perform at his or her top potential and minimize the risk of injury, proper joint alignment, muscular strength and flexibility is critical. If any of these three components are compromised, the joint and its muscles and ligaments will be susceptible to injury. Permanent injury may result if such compromised joint structure, stability and biomechanics are left untreated Biomechanical problems can result from many different origins. Some are developmental due to genetics and the way the body developed. Other problems are acquired from past injuries sustained. Developmental problems may include a leg length deficiency where either the thigh or lower leg bone is shorter on one side of the body. Large Q-angles (the angle of the thigh bone to the lower leg) causing knee alignment problems is another developmental abnormality seen commonly in women. Lastly, abnormal spinal structure is another common developmental problem. Whether there be an accentuation or lessening of the back’s normal curvatures or underlying scoliosis, spinal biomechanics are compromised and can predispose one to injury.
Acquired biomechanical problems typically result from past injury that has compromised a joint’s structure, stability or alignment. Other acquired biomechanical problems are compensations of normal body and joint mechanics in attempts to limit pain from a past injury. These types of compensational biomechanics are commonly seen in athletes who return to their training and competitions too soon without receiving adequate rehabilitation of their injuries. In these athletes, it is not uncommon for them to experience repeated aggravation of their initial injury. Additionally, new injuries may result from compensation of normal biomechanics placing stress on other joints and tissues.
So, if you suffer from a chronic injury that has limited your athletic performance and prevented you from reaching your goals, seek evaluation and treatment by a professional trained in sports injuries. Dr. Zendler is Jackson Hole’s only Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP). He has extensive training and clinical experience in the biomechanical evaluation and rehabilitation of sports injuries. The initial evaluation of an injury begins with a history of the injury followed by an in-depth orthopedic-neurological examination, evaluation of structural alignment, flexibility and strength measurements and gait analysis. Remember, accurate diagnosis and timely treatment of an injury is critical in the prevention of future and permanent injury!